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Category Archives: points plus

pumpkin cranberry bread

I am in my happy place when I walk into the grocery store and see the stacks of Ocean Spray cranberry bags in the produce section. I don’t understand why we can’t get frozen cranberries year-round!? Well this year, I will be shopping in my freezer until next November when the cranberries are back…I’ve already frozen a dozen bags ūüôā

I will probably add more cranberries to the next batch I make.  I loved the tart bursts of flavor!

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Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 can (15 ounces) LIBBY’S¬ģ 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup chopped, frozen cranberries (I use a cuisinart to chop the frozen berries. ¬†You could always use whole or thaw and then chop)

Preheat¬†oven to 350¬į F. Coat two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans with baking cooking spray.

Combine flours, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in large bowl. In a stand mixer, combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil and juice. Beat on low until blended. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Fold in cranberries. Divide into the two pans and smooth tops.

Bake for 60 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove from pans to cool completely.

Recipe makes two loaves.

Recipe slightly adapted from meals.com

Using the Weight Watcher Recipe Builder, my friend Kristina calculated that each slice (12 slices per loaf) has 6 Points Plus per slice.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on November 12, 2013 in baking, points plus, snacks, vegetarian

 

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grilled peaches with cinnamon yogurt and honey

I love zombies!!

I anxiously await Monday mornings so I can pay Amazon $1.99 to watch the previous nights episode of “The Walking Dead” (we don’t have cable t.v. ūüė¶ )¬†I’m such a great fan, I’ve even read the graphic novel as well (Thanks Bill!).¬† I am also becoming quiet good (in the 43-year-old mom sense) at Call of Duty 2:¬† Black Ops Zombies.¬† Love it, love it, love it!!

So it was very exciting to watch Marc and Anna participate in the Run For Your Lives 5K yesterday.¬† The course¬†was filled with slow and fast-moving¬†zombies trying to capture the flags around¬†their waist.¬† The runners had a great time dressing up for the occasion.¬† Marc decided to go with a “caught at work during the apocalypse, so now I’m forced to wear a tie around my head” and Anna went with a shirt that said “Chicks with Brains”.¬† They sprinted, dodged, crawled and swam their way to the finish line.

After watching part of the race, and hearing the screams and moans, I’ve decided that zombies should stay in books, t.v. and video games.¬† My pulse was way out of my comfort zone and I wasn’t even running the race!

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Here’s a quick dessert that you could cook over any smoldering post-apocalyptic wreckage ūüôā¬† We used our gas grill.

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Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon Yogurt and Honey

  • 4 ripe peaches, halved
  • 1/2 cup 0% Fage Greek yogurt
  • 4 Tbsp. honey
  • cinnamon to taste

Place peaches cut side down on a preheated grill (medium heat).  Cook each side 4-5 minutes.

Combine yogurt and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Top each peach with a tablespoon of yogurt and drizzle with a half of tablespoon of honey.  Serves 4.

Recipe very slightly adapted from Skinnytaste.com.

Using the Weight Watcher Recipe Builder, each serving has 4 Points Plus.

For my grandpa:  skinnytaste listed each serving as having 31.7 gms carbs and 2.2 gms fiber.  She used fat-free honey flavored Greek yogurt, I used plain.

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2013 in desserts, points plus, vegetarian

 

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asparagus, red pepper, and potato frittata

This frittata is great (makes a¬†very cute vegetable PacMan too¬†ūüôā )¬† And the nice thing is that you could totally change-up the vegetables to your liking.¬† My daughter thought it would make a very nice school lunch as well.¬† Yes, that’s right.¬† It’s already time to plan for back to school.¬† My senior starts next week!

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Asparagus, Red Pepper and Potato Frittata

  • 2 cups liquid egg whites
  • 1/2 cup light ricotta cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 cups hash browns (I used Simply Potatoes)
  • 1/2 lb. asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Mix together egg whites and ricotta until smooth.  Set aside.

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet on medium-high.  In a large bowl, stir together hash browns, asparagus, red pepper and mushrooms.   Add mixture to skillet and cook 5-6 minutes.  Flip potato mixture.

Pour egg mixture evenly over potatoes.  Cover, decrease heat to medium, and cook without stirring until eggs are set, about 12-14 minutes.  Invert frittata over platter and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Serves 6.

Recipe from Crystal Farms advertisement for AllWhites egg whites.

Each 1/6 wedge of frittata has 4 PointsPlus.

**and for my grandpa, each serving has 13 g of carbs and 2 g fiber ūüôā

 
3 Comments

Posted by on August 20, 2013 in points plus, vegetarian

 

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zucchini vichyssoise

Yesterday was Sneak Some Zucchini On Your Neighbor’s Porch Day.¬† Hmm…..my porch was empty.¬† I’ll give my friends and neighbors a pass though, since it’s not a well advertised event.¬† They probably didn’t even realize it was occurring since Target didn’t display¬†themed merchandise¬†two months in advance so you can properly prepare.

I’m surprised Halloween candy isn’t already on the shelves.

But luckily this year I am growing a decent¬†crop in¬†my garden.¬† Last year’s bounty¬†was horrible and¬†I thought I might be in the Bermuda¬†Triangle of Zucchini.¬† I mean, who plants zucchini, and then gets two?

Super easy, super nutritious and Weight Watcher friendly.

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Zucchini Vichyssoise

  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 5 cups chopped onions
  • 4 cups chopped, unpeeled white potatoes
  • 4¬†cups chopped zucchini
  • 2¬†quarts vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper

Heat the butter and oil in a large pot over medium-low heat  Add onion or leeks and saute for 10 minutes.  Add potatoes, zucchini, stock, salt and pepper.  Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Let cool for a few minutes, then blend with an immersion blender.  Adjust salt and pepper if needed.  Serve hot or cold.  Makes 12 cups.

Recipe adapted from The Barefoot Contessa.

Using the Weight Watcher Recipe Builder, each 1 1/2 cup serving has 4 Points Plus.

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2013 in points plus, soups, vegetarian

 

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sweet onion salad

This past weekend¬†we drove up to Guemes Island to see my 95-year-old grandmother who is visiting from Albuquerque.¬† She left a comment on my Thai shrimp cake entry last week saying that she would love to try it, since at her retirement center they¬†are a¬†little lacking in food with spices.¬† So Anna and I made¬†two ¬†batches and formed them into appetizer-sized bites and brought them up.¬† I think I almost prefer them bite-sized (one recipe made 9 small bites, instead of 4 larger patties).¬† Grandma loved them ūüôā

My dad made this salad to go along with the burgers and fresh crab for lunch.  Delicious!  I quickly took a picture before everyone dove in.

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Sweet Onion Salad

  • 3 large sweet¬†onions (Walla¬†Walla¬†or Valdalia)
  • 1 bunch cilantro, rinsed, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup white¬†vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pitted and halved Kalamata olives (about 20)
  • one red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

Slice onions 1/4″ thick and place in bowl.¬† Add salt and vinegar and toss to combine.¬† Add olives, red pepper slices, and cilantro.¬† Refrigerate for several hours, tossing occasionally.¬† ¬† Add olive oil and feta cheese just before serving.

Using the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder, the entire recipe has 22 Points Plus.¬† I didn’t have a chance to measure how much the recipe made, but it was a large bowl full.¬† If you divided it into 10 servings, each would have 2 Points Plus.¬† I’m estimating that it would be about 3/4 cup for each serving.

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2013 in points plus, salads, vegetarian

 

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strawberry and goat cheese crostini

We just dropped off our 12-year-old at YMCA camp for the week.  Now the house is very quiet.  Yes, I still have two children at home, but he is the one who is usually in the same room as me, curled up in the dog bed (orthopedic cushioning!),  reading a book and ready to talk with me or climb the counters to reach an unreachable.  It might be a long week.

I needed a few appetizers for parties this summer, and this has been my most recent go-to recipe.¬† I know it’s a little late in the season to be posting strawberry recipes, but as one of my party guest exclaimed “the colors are so beautiful, this would be perfect for Christmas!!”

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Strawberry Goat Cheese Crostini

  • 2 cups diced strawberries
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • one sliced baguette
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • basil
  • freshly ground pepper
  • balsamic vinegar

Combine strawberries and sugar in a bowl and let sit for 30 minutes.

Heat oven to high broil.  Slice baguettes on the diagonal and broil each side until lightly brown.  Watch closely!!

Top each slice of baguette with a smear of goat cheese and a spoonful of strawberries.  Slice basil thinly (chiffonade) and sprinkle over crostini.  Finish with cracked black pepper and a light drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Recipe slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats.

Using the Weight Watchers Recipe Builder, each crostini has 2 Points Plus (estimating 18 slices of bread from baguette).  You will probably have strawberries left over.

 
 

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thai shrimp cakes

I’m back!¬† It’s been a long time, but I’m excited to start blogging again and share my favorite recipes.¬† Last year had a lot of personal ups and downs, as life sometimes does.¬† And so blogging went on the back burner, so to speak.¬† And then, like a left-over, got pushed to the back of the refrigerator where it just sat and waited for someone to notice.

Well, I finally noticed!¬† I noticed that I had gained a bit of weight, partially from not staying invested in the Points Plus program.¬† I noticed that I felt the need to be creative again.¬† And I noticed that my youngest had been after me for a year to start blogging again…

“This is great, did you take a picture?’

“Did you blog this yet, Mom?”

“Are you ever going to blog again?”

He was so excited tonight when I plated this shrimp cake and grabbed the camera.¬† He helped me with the cilantro garnish and kept encouraging me along the way.¬† This one’s for you Alex, my biggest cheerleader!

And now for the recipe ūüôā¬† I’d never even heard of shrimp cakes before I read about these in the April 2013 edition of Cooking Light.¬† They turned out almost too good to be true.¬† A little heat from the Sriracha, a little zestiness¬†from the lime, a little coco-nutty crunch.¬† Delicious!!¬† These would also be terrific as an appetizer, just make them into smaller servings.

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Thai Shrimp Cakes

  • 2/3 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs), divided
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened dried coconut, divided (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 Tbsp. minced green onions
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tsp. fish sauce
  • 2 tsp. Sriracha sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 8 oz. peeled and deveined shrimp, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lime, quartered

Combine 1/3 cup panko and 2 Tbsp. coconut in shallow bowl and set aside.

Combine 1/3 cup panko, 2 Tbsp. coconut, and next eight ingredients in a bowl.  Add shrimp and stir until just combined.  Form into four equal balls.  Roll balls in panko/coconut mixture and press into patty.

Heat nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add oil.  Add patties and cook about 4 minutes on each side, until shrimp is cooked (turns pink) and patty is nicely browned.  Serve with lime wedge.

Recipe from Cooking Light, April 2013.

Using the Weight Watcher Recipe Builder, each shrimp cake has 4 Points Plus.

 

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